Yvonne Feng

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

  Yvonne Feng’s research is centred in narrative and visual representation, and the potential of using drawing, painting and writing to speak about lives with silent histories, represent existence in times of great political and cultural changes and open gaps for shared emotional and meaningful engagements in experiences of the other. In her PhD research (thesis title: Tracing the Unspeakable: Painting as Embodied Seeing, 2014-20), Feng searched for artistic language and agency to represent the reality of an event of imprisonment in her family history and other events of entrapment, marginalisation and displacement. Throughout her doctoral research, painting was employed as a methodology for exploring life experiences, questioning how artmaking can impart meaning to an ongoing life event and furthermore, make possible the forming and empowerment of oneself; how the absent and the unspeakable (caused by trauma, political repression or lack of agency) can be embodied in painting; how painting can open gaps for meaningful engagements in unsettled events; and whether painting is able to represent phenomena that are putatively unrepresentable.

  Besides her continuous interests in the unspeakable and its embodiment in painting, Feng’s recent practice and research explore drawing and storytelling as ethnographic tools to capture diverse individual life experiences, form story-shaped selves and challenge official histories. Feng also searches for visual languages to represent states of crisis(internal/external) through the body and bodily sensations, questioning how physical structures of institutions produce subjects and how power embodied by these structures controls bodies.

Scholarly biography

  Yvonne Feng is a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art Painting at the University of Brighton and an Associate Lecturer in MA Painting at the Camberwell College of Arts, UAL. She has previously taught Methodologies of Drawing, BFA Critical Studies and Widening Participation courses at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. Feng is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her recent paper presentations include Hauntopia / What If, European Artistic Research Network Conference at the Research Pavilion, Venice (2017) and Judgment Calls: Ethical Dilemmas in Art and Architectural Research at the Bartlett, UCL, London (2017).   Feng is the recipient of the William Coldstream Memorial Prize 2017, UCL Art Museum and Excellence in Drawing Award 2015, The Arts Club. She has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in the UK. Her work is included in UCL Art Museum Collection and private collections worldwide.

Supervisory Interests

  Feng is interested in supervising practice-led research with the use of drawing and painting, exploring aspects of lived experience, trauma, absence, embodiment, body image, the self, and approaches of autoethnography and representation.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Tracing the Unspeakable: Painting as Embodied Seeing, Slade School of Fine Art, University College London

Sept 2014Sept 2019

Award Date: 28 Jun 2020

Master, Painting, Royal College of Art

Oct 2012Jul 2014

Bachelor, Fine Art, Slade School of Fine Art, University College London

Sept 2008Jun 2012

External positions

Associate Lecturer, Camberwell College of Art UAL

17 Oct 2019 → …


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  • Notebook (Fragments)

    Feng, Y., 2021, Hong Kong: Sulla Fuffa. 48 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook - authored